Deer Watching in Late Summer

Non-consumptive recreation activities associated with white-tailed deer peak in late summer and early fall. Deer feed continuously and are often visible in good light. Fully developed antlers are on full display, more visible than ever while still covered in velvet. Regardless of your recreation choices – binoculars,  conventional cameras, motion-detecting trail cameras, or simply viewing for pleasure – it is the best time of year to observe, appreciate and learn about these magnificent members of the deer family.

PS: These deer are in various stage of molting, a process that insures thermoregulation, and some camouflage as well,  through the seasons. The thin, reddish-brown summer coat is giving way to a thick, dark winter coat that features hollow hair and a thick underfur.







Photos by NB Hunter (August 30 – September 16, 2017). © All Rights Reserved.

8 thoughts on “Deer Watching in Late Summer

    • I understand, and that is one reason that I support hunting as a management tool. However, hunting is usually not a viable option in heavily populated urban areas. I’m a few miles from the village of Hamilton and Colgate Univ., where a serious deer problem (40+ per square mile) exists in and around the village. They had to adopt a management program to “cull” deer and donate the meat to the needy….a practice that has been adopted throughout the state out of necessity.

  1. I’ve experienced both the thrill of seeing these lovely creatures as well as the agony of having them destroy so many plantings. The hardest to take was their tendency to stand on their back legs to reach my favorite apples, breaking branches in the process. Seems as though they show absolutely no fear of humans in our area. Perhaps too many people feeding the cute little ‘Bambies’. These days I’m living in a more wooded area where I’ve seen more elk than deer and we don’t have the plantings to worry about. The deer we do see seem to always be hanging out in a neatly trimmed lawn with lots of plantings. If I had to guess, they’re finding easy pickins there.

    • In this age of human dominance over the planet and the inevitable human x wildlife conflicts, it’s virtually impossible to satisfy the masses. The bio-politics are mind boggling. Encourage large predators for ecosystem balance and they instill fear and prey on the family pets. Destroy the predators, and/or prevent hunting, and starving deer resort to landscape plants and become human-conditioned. Birth control doesn’t work. Trap and transfer is cruel and doesn’t work either. In this region the strategy that is gaining acceptance is a process of public meetings and proposals that enlist certified shooters to harvest surplus deer at bait stations at approved times and locations. I would love to see a feasible alternative, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

      • A feasible alternative would be wonderful, but I can’t imagine what that might be. At least harvesting them and donating to the needy seems just a touch better than letting them starve (either the deer or the needy?) Seems a shame we’ve come to this.

  2. Nice captures, Nick. Most of our deer are in winter coats now. We have some late season fawns
    (about 3 weeks old right now) still wearing red coats with spots… I hope they make it through the winter.

  3. Thanks. I enjoy deer watching before the hunting season, when the odds are in my favor and the deer are visible. Never heard of fawns being born that late…probably because they would not survive their first winter or live to pass on the genes.

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